The rise of e-commerce and the struggle many brick-and-mortar retail stores face is nothing new. Customers are increasingly choosing to shop for clothes, furniture and even groceries from the convenience of their own homes. More recently, however, this shift in the way consumers shop has given rise to new types of retail stores – small showrooms and “pop-up shops.”
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E-commerce and online shopping are here to stay, but the explosion of new technology and the number of resources available to facilitate online shopping is an opportunity for retailers to embrace new ideas and concepts that will increase foot traffic to their physical locations.
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It’s probably painfully obvious to companies in the retail industry and beyond that the old paradigm of the retail shopping center is being permanently altered by e-commerce, as well as changing consumer preferences. As the old-guard stalwarts of retail begin to shutter stores or fold completely, it is up to both landlords and existing anchor

Recently, the Fourth Circuit affirmed a jury award in favor of retailer Lord & Taylor for lost profits in connection with a breach of its reciprocal easement agreement with D.C.-area mall owner White Flint, LP. The court found White Flint’s efforts to redevelop the regional mall into a mixed-use project violated the terms of the REA, which can often be an obstacle to redevelopment plans.
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Traditional shopping malls across the country are facing a decreasing amount of customers, declining profits, and, in certain cases, overall viability. With billions of dollars in outstanding CMBS debt that large mall owners may be unable to refinance, the CMBS industry is bracing for potentially significant losses.
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On June 3, 2016, Hunton & Williams LLP published a video discussing a 2015 ruling by the National Labor Relations Board, which fundamentally alters the joint-employer standard. The ruling has already been making waves in the retail industry as the NLRB seeks to apply the new standards to hold certain franchisors liable for the employment violations of its franchisees.
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Earlier this month, teen clothing retailer Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, seeking to immediately close 154 of its over 800 stores located throughout the United States and Canada. Many of these stores are located in smaller shopping malls, which have been hit the hardest by the shift to online shopping.
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